Ronnie Ron, the chief suspect in the Rose Pizem murder case, told the Petah Tikva District Court on Monday that he understood he had given the four-year-old girl "one slap too many."
Ron, Rose's paternal grandfather, said that the four-year-old was going wild in the car, so he hit her and pushed her to the back seat. He claimed that immediately afterward, he thought the girl was still alive but was just curled up quietly on the back seat. He said that it was only later that he noticed she had died.
When asked how he could be so sure the girl was no longer alive, he told the court, "I was in the army and have seen movies."
Ron said he then panicked and threw the body in the Yarkon River.
He said he had initially given contradictory accounts of the incident because he didn't want his girlfriend and Rose's mother, Marie Pizem, to find out what had actually happened.
Prosecutors told the court earlier Monday that they had completed presenting all their evidence in the case.
They allege that Marie was an accomplice in the murder of the four-year-old, whose body was found in a bag in the Yarkon in September 2008.
Pizem's lawyers, Revital Sweid and Merav Greenberg, claimed the prosecution did not prove Marie was an accomplice in the crime, but the prosecution maintained the evidence against Pizem implicated her as an accomplice, at the very least for persuading Ron to carry out the murder.
According to prosecutors Anna Avidov and Keren Wexler, the idea to do away with Rose came from the mother, who said in her police testimony that she did not want Rose in the house she shared with Ron, saying she "can't stand seeing her around."
Several letters written by Pizem to Ron and presented in court revealed that she threatened to kill herself if Rose continued to be a part of the new family. Marie also wrote that Rose was "killing my happiness."
But Sweid maintained that Marie was referring to the possibility of transferring Rose to the custody of her maternal grandmother in France, and not to murdering her. Rose's biological father, Ron's son, also lives in France.
A proposition by Ron's lawyers for a plea bargain under which he would admit to murdering the child, be sent to jail and Marie be acquitted of homicide, was discussed with the prosecution, but never came to fruition as a deal presented to the court.
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